With his company in the doghouse over the forceful removal of a passenger from one of its flights on Sunday, United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz was determined to get ahead of the story by issuing a clear and public apology on CNBC which has hosted him frequently in the past.
When told the show had already filled its guest slots, CEO Munoz said that wouldn’t be a problem as he would simply offer a few hundred bucks together with a free meal for one of the guest commentators to be bumped to the next day.
But after trying for an hour in the green room and finding no takers, Munoz went directly to the set where an economist was already miked and about to go live. Munoz explained that he need the airtime to make his apology, but the economist refused to leave, as he had important insights to deliver concerning the impact of the recent US-China meeting on global markets.
According to witnesses, Munoz then did something unspecified to the economist to cause him to cry in pain, and dragged him off the set like a sack of potatoes before taking his seat.
The man, now with a bloodied face, attempted to return to deliver his piece, but Munoz sucker-punched him causing him to fall to the floor. Munoz then delivered a public apology over the way in which his airline treated its overbooked passengers, and said he would look into it.